Nigeria police publish tips on how to survive their checkpoints

Such incidents have reportedly ended in motorists being shot dead after drivers refused to oblige. BBC NEWS
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Smile, be polite, and avoid fighting an officer. These are some of the tips to improve drivers’ experience during a police roadblock in Nigeria, according to the force’s Twitter account.

It is not clear what prompted them to share the 16 guidelines, but a recent embarrassing viral video of an officer hassling a driver at a checkpoint for a bribe might be behind it.

In it, an officer is captured asking for a bribe of 4,000 naira ($10; £7) because the initial offer was, according to him, not enough.

The police do not address the issue of bribe solicitation in their “tips for safe and cordial relationship at checkpoints”, but advise that:

So, just in case you’re wondering how to comply with the guidelines, here’s what a motorist should do:

Slow down as you approach the checkpoint, ensure the car’s interior lights are on, if it’s at night, and keep your hands visible to avoid spooking police officers.

Goading a police officer is also not a good idea:

The police also felt it was necessary to warn about the potentially fatal consequences of fighting an armed police officer:

Most Nigerians don’t trust the police because they see them as unprofessional and corrupt, according to BBC Nigeria editor Aliyu Tanko.

They often complain about the ubiquitous checkpoints, which many feel have been set up purely to extort bribes.

Nigerian police are among the worst paid and ill equipped in the world, our reporter says.

The police, however, see bad interactions with the public as being a result of misunderstandings.

They advise the public to be courteous when engaging with them:

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